Cobblestone Receives EV Charging Station Grant

Cobblestone Receives EV Charging Station Grant
Posted on 01/20/2020

The Nebraska Department of Energy and Environment has announced the rebate recipients of the $1.8 million for Electrical Charging stations funded under the VW Mitigation Trust. The Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia (VW State Trust). 

For Southwest Nebraska the lone recipient is the Cobblestone Inn & Suites located on the east edge of Cambridge on Hwy 6/34. The hotel will receive funding for a Level 2 dual charging station.

Charging sites that include a DC Fast Charger are eligible for reimbursement of up to 80% of the cost of equipment, installation, electric service upgrades, and certain other costs. Charging sites with only Level 2 chargers are eligible for reimbursement of up to 50% of the eligible costs.

Judy McCune, General Manager of the Cobblestone Inn & Suites, wrote the grant with the idea that it would put Cambridge on the map. “There are many apps and websites that give out locations of these EV charging stations,” McCune said, “although we are proud and supportive of our ethanol contribution to the nation, Hybrid and Electrical car options are in the future as well.”

When asked if there was a demand for EV charging stations in Cambridge, McCune replied, “When we build it, they will come. Currently travelers with the need to charge must stay on the Interstate to traverse Nebraska. Now, they can continue thru SW Nebraska with the next one to the West located in Brush Colorado.

“I’m aware that this seems a bit futuristic as nobody has asked if we can charge their car, but with these funds now available now, it seemed to be in our best interest to apply for when we do need it, we would have had to pay for it ourselves.”   

With assistance from the Nebraska Public Power District, who will fund the additional 25% and Cambridge Economic Development funding the remainder, McCune has the costs covered. “The hotel staff will manage the 2-car charging station. At this point it is our intention to offer it as an amenity to guests staying with us and charge a small fee for those just needing a quick boost.” The decision to go with a Level 2 car charging station versus the DC Fast Charger had to do with the electrical demand the hotel could handle as well as the need versus cost. DC Fast Chargers are significantly higher in cost.

“A Level 2 charging station can meet the needs of the vehicles in 3-5 hours versus the 45 minutes a DCFC offers, but the electrical draw would far outweigh the benefits,” McCune added. The timeline for the construction should see it completed by July of this year. River Valley Services will install the unit as well as the electrical work required.

The EV charging station grants were awarded to 32 applicants for a total of 59 sites. The vast majority are located in the metro areas with only a handful elsewhere. Of the 59 sites, 3 will be placed at hotels: the Cambridge Cobblestone, The Fairfield Inn in Scottsbluff and the Holiday Inn located in Columbus. 

For more information on the Rebate Grant go to: deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW-4